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Community Discussion Topics => Game Dev and Gaming => Topic started by: Jim_Wellington on Aug 04, 11, 03:17:13 AM

Title: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: Jim_Wellington on Aug 04, 11, 03:17:13 AM
Immediate: Get a newbie area up and working where everybody feels like they have an unfair advantage.

Eventually: All sorts of projects are on the back burner:

(Philosophy: ) Customer satisfaction is important. Wow factor gets attention, customer satisfaction keeps players coming back. Every player should feel valued. We want to advertise that there will always be free accounts, with a premium account option 'soon'. Contributors (artists/designers/scriptors/scenario planners etc) will be able to get premium accounts either for free or a very reduced rate. We're thinking we might eventually have two tiers of premium accts. Lifetime acct with enough bells and whistles to hold a decent base; and a higher premium account for players who really want to shine. (I'm thinking contributing designers could be developing super premium outfits that only super premium players could wear. Special weapons or spells would also be available only to super premium players ((or prize winners in various categories could be granted special stuff with spectacular effects in order to inspire customers to step up to the super premium accounts.))

Hard Core Gamers get their own areas.
Finesse role players get their own areas.
"Oblivia" is a city surrounded by clouds where residents not interested in gaming or role playing can hang out, out of character, and schmooze with their friends, ((like a good place for designers to show off their new outfits, weapons and stuff, where the combat routine would be 'virtual' ((("That move would have sliced Nickolai's head off and exploded everything for twenty meters around.")))...))

(Highly Customizable Characters) designers can sell new hair-do's, beards, tattoos, etc to other characters.

Extra Races: Humans, Elves, Half Elves, Dwarves ((Most Races would have their in game names, Dwarves wouldn't be called Dwarves); Cat people, Bear people, Fox people, Otter people, (More like humans with hybrid features, tails, claws; Otters can pick locks with their claws.) Faery types as healers and magick users. Faery magic is nuisance magic, Might replace somebody's face with a yellow smiley face sphere for several minutes of game play, might cast a puddle of knee deep molasses around everybody in a five to ten meter square for a couple minutes. Flyers, Lizard people, Insect Humanoid Hybrids, Metamorphs.

Non Obvious Classes/Occupations: Guild marks and religious markings would be available (tattoos or engravings: skulls and crossbones, doves, hammers, wheels etc.) but would not be enforced. Part of the role playing may be "guess the profession" of other players.

Um, this stuff goes through my head as I'm building areas and is down the road a bit. (I have more, but I better quit while I'm still awake.)

-----

I really want to see us set up a co-operative repository to share stuff (with an agreement that if you make money using my routines/weapons/buildings/effects - you share the wealth, or something mutually agreeable.

---long winded, but thoughtful,

-----Jim
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: Jim_Wellington on Aug 04, 11, 10:07:48 AM
This is a link to a Survey Monkey Survey on What Customers Want (redone, I lost the password for the first version)

Survey Monkey tries to get everybody who answers to sign up for a free account, and they're tricky and hide their "Let People know how the voting is going" options etc.

But give this a shot: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QFD6RTN (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QFD6RTN)

& just in case nobody on your team has ever created a web page, say something in this topic and I'll tell you how easy that is.

-----Jim
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: Unorthaparadox on Aug 04, 11, 11:06:16 AM
Hey, just checked your survey out and gave it some answers. Like the direction you are heading. We too are really focusing on building this core sense of "RP" that seems to get left out of MMORPG's today. I grow so tired of going to a PVP zone to see either the Invincible Tank or the Glass Cannon "option" pretty much, everyone wearing the same outfits, spamming the same spells, and using the same weapons. Hope things work out for the best and we'll definitely keep an eye on this project.
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: whyroc on Aug 04, 11, 12:54:35 PM
Yeah nice survey! answered as best I could without knowing much of the backstory.  That's really a good idea to help decide where to focus.

With the name Oblivia do you think there's some potential trademark or copyright issues ?

-Corey
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: BigDogGameStudios on Aug 04, 11, 01:14:17 PM
To add in my two cents, I just wanted to say that in order to help any project run smoothly your producer / team lead / head developer should make sure you put together a Game Design Document (GDD). Now, you may be thinking "I know what I want to do with my game!" or perhaps "I write all our ideas down on paper!" but honestly, that is not enough. A GDD gives you a bit more structure, you write it up, add to it as you go, and basically treat it as a bible for game creation. Just writing out a GDD may get you going on ideas you didn't think of before... or perhaps didn't realize you needed to think of.

There are several different templates out there for creating a GDD. The downside is that most of them are based around single player games and not MMOs. However, I had found one here: http://diltz.wordpress.com/ (http://diltz.wordpress.com/) that is a fantastic start to a nice MMO GDD. Just add in some extra sections, change it up for your game, and in no time you should have a document you can pull up and reference any time you get in a bind.
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: Unorthaparadox on Aug 04, 11, 01:26:17 PM
To add in my two cents, I just wanted to say that in order to help any project run smoothly your producer / team lead / head developer should make sure you put together a Game Design Document (GDD). Now, you may be thinking "I know what I want to do with my game!" or perhaps "I write all our ideas down on paper!" but honestly, that is not enough. A GDD gives you a bit more structure, you write it up, add to it as you go, and basically treat it as a bible for game creation. Just writing out a GDD may get you going on ideas you didn't think of before... or perhaps didn't realize you needed to think of.

There are several different templates out there for creating a GDD. The downside is that most of them are based around single player games and not MMOs. However, I had found one here: http://diltz.wordpress.com/ (http://diltz.wordpress.com/) that is a fantastic start to a nice MMO GDD. Just add in some extra sections, change it up for your game, and in no time you should have a document you can pull up and reference any time you get in a bind.

Agreed. A well-written GDD is essential, especially if members come in later down the line that haven't been around since the idea's birth. Possibly one of the most essential parts of any game development structure.
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: RealityX on Aug 04, 11, 01:57:47 PM
Agree w/ the two previous posts 100%.

I dont think you can run into the problem of "over" designing your game, and the more details you put in your GDD the better. It gives your development team a very clear understanding of what tasks need to be completed, and give you a break from telling the same story over and over and over and over and over......

It also allows you to project manage your game much easier, because you can break it down and assign parts of it to group of people to accomplish.
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: MsSarrene on Aug 04, 11, 09:28:11 PM
I do not think that a GDD is possibly the most important thing in game design.. It IS the most important thing.
A Game Design Document is not only the basis for your game and help you improve your own developmental direction, it is also a living document.

Not only will it help you realize aspects you may not have thought of before, it also helps you realize the opposite; what you cannot currently do. This might be because of limitations of time, tech or just cost (not just monitory, but also time, effort, resources for team and or client, etc.) Either way, this is actually a good thing since it will help bring balance to your development and help create a stable development plan from simple tasks to milestones.

Remember, a GDD is meant to be adjusted and worked on through out. And you can even plan for further development goals and designs for later on.

A rule of thumb that I was taught years and years ago.. and still applies today...

A wise old man (I Hope he is not lurking around on these forums to hear me call him old) once told me years ago, "if it is not in the GDD it wont be in the game."

Though this sounds harsh, it really is true. Parts of your idea might make it, but the full concept of what you have in mind and what it could be will not, else you sacrifice something else as seen below.

 I have seen development teams say, "Eh, We are going to do this, i made a few notes, but we will get this working". Granted one team did in fact get that one aspect into the game, but it was incomplete and buggy as heck. Since it was not well planned out, with the team leads working together to make sure this one game play aspect was not noted just once, but in all categories of the GDD it should have, it was later removed from the game once it went live.

This same development team also suffered, sadly, because some were so focused on this one new aspect (while others were not even clued into this idea because it was not documented) that other parts of the development were ignored or pushed back too many times. This means some very important aspects of game play (and rather simple in the end) were not completed and were not optimized (art, scripts, terrains). This causes some major latency issues both server side and client side in one particular area of the game.

Now that might be a drastic example. However it is really true in the long run.

If you spend that time working on the GDD and documenting everything you can- and keeping the rest of the team updated, then you can only have good results in the end. Sometimes, taking it slow at first will really help you win the race later on- yes, i know another bad analogy, I seem to be full of them tonight.

I know a post was given about a few styles of GDD documentation, but do try to remember a few things:
Document everything in order of categories and try to stay organized in your layout.
It is okay to repeat some information if it is relevant- or reference back to that section or additional documents.
Keep a running list of all attached documents that are part of, but not in the GDD.
Keep sections updated for your development/design team.
Keep record of what has changed in each version- be it spelling or new additions or changes.
Remember a GDD is not your Game Design Proposal, this is meant to be a living document and perfected to help you and your team reach your goals.

A few often overlooked things in addition to what the others have said, but I hope that helps some. I will not even state how large our GDD is, or what additional documents we have attached to it, but I do know that despite everything, and working on this for well over three years (with two full revisions) I am still not done.

Just my 2 worth,
Peace,
Sarrene'
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: Stadi_Thompson on Aug 04, 11, 09:45:10 PM
I have seen a lot of game design docs become something for the recycle bin. Most importantly is that a team is capable of making the game, on top of that an mmo. Some can write up the most uber GDD ever, if it can't be executed then it is not of much importance.

Welcome to the community good luck to all.
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: MsSarrene on Aug 04, 11, 10:00:57 PM
That is very true Info, I have seen the same thing- many times. Yet, that is of course a whole different topic. On the opposite side of that coin however, I have not ever seen a game be successful if it did not have a decent gdd. And my idea of success is perhaps different than some.

 To me a successful game is one that has been started and eventually finishes and has some really good mechanics. it is not the number of subs that a game might draw, but if the game was finished and released and people play and enjoy it. I know, a bit silly- but in today's market, it would take a lot to make a wow or even eq killer. I do not know anyone personally or professionally that has that much money hehe. ;)

I still believe that documentation is the first and foremost important aspect to any game design. Plus, if a person/team fails to make a game the first time, they should keep trying. Just one failure does not mean the GDD has to go to file 13, true? I think it is up to the writer/team on their direction and how determined they are to learn from their experiences and persevere, or call it quits.

Peace,
Sarrene'
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: Jim_Wellington on Aug 05, 11, 03:34:57 AM
Corey,

Thanks, I thought I invented the idea of a city named 'Oblivia' (shrug) If it turns out to be copyrighted I'll rename it.

Sarrene,

Hi, thanks for the encouragement and insight.

Unorth, Big Dog, RealityX, Info-,

Yay, thanks for your input. Everybody's given me ideas and stuff that will probably mean I won't get much sleep for a couple years,  here...  ;)

--- Next silly question... Has anybody tried to import textures from older versions of the game engine? I mean, why knock myself out creating sand if it already exists?

---Thanks,

-----Jim
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: Jim_Wellington on Aug 05, 11, 09:51:04 AM
(blush) Re: Silly Question... Never mind, I found the right tutorial and there are textures here. (terrain tutorial #4?)

Next silly question-? Where are the snapshots stored and can you take a bunch or just one?

---thanks,

-----Jim
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: Stadi_Thompson on Aug 05, 11, 10:46:37 AM
Hi Jim,
are your referring to regular screen image grabs or snapshots to save the state of an area. i do image grabs with 3rd party software. im sure their is a shortcut key for it inside the blade, but unsure what that is, if anyone knows please tell us. as far as saving an area's state, use "area Checkpoints" in the F5 Menu, this will allow you to jump back to a previous state of that area.
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: whyroc on Aug 05, 11, 02:53:08 PM
Hey Jim, well I thought it was pretty close to "Oblivion" , but I do like the name "Oblivia"  of course we know that names change etc.. its funny how the first name picked for a development can really set the overall tone, and is much better than plain old 'working title'  :D

 
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: MsSarrene on Aug 05, 11, 05:26:01 PM
I should not know this, but I do (four boys over the last 28 years)-
Oblivia is the name of the world/land/region in pokemon.
Three of four of my kids played pokemon and i even got into a bit with them when they were younger.

Other than that, I think this is a cool idea. Would love to see updates as you are able to give them.

Peace,
Sarrene'
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: Jim_Wellington on Aug 05, 11, 08:48:23 PM
Info-,

The last icon on the right (after "Add a new physics node" & "Add a new Physics joint node") is a camera and mousing over it gives you "Snapshot", I thought that might be a "take a screenshot" button ((I've read so much in the past week here, I don't know if that was in any documentation, or did i just take it for granted?)).

Last night I found the textures and went nuts covering the checkerboard and wanted to take a couple screenshots, couldn't find a folder where they might be stored, so I used a flipcam hd, which is just a bit too blurry and I can never quite get the angle right.

Below is a digital camera shot that has the same problem.

If there was a screenshot button and easily accessed bin that collected multiple screenshots, that would be a lot less frustrating.


---thanks,

-----Jim
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: HE-Cooper on Aug 05, 11, 10:11:56 PM
Printscreen button will give you something better than that lol. The button you refer to is a "Physics" snapshot, not a screencap. You have four options. Hit Printscreen and paste. Use a "fraps" esque screencap freeware.

Use GM Notes:
http://wiki.heroengine.com/wiki/GM_Notes

Or wire up the in-tool command, which is there to be customized for your game, but I've honestly never tried it.

SCREENSHOT <x> <y>
Saves a very high resolution screenshot in the Screenshots directory under the client's working directory    

(if no resolution specified, defaults to 4096 x 3072; maximum is 12228 x 9216)


Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: FI-ScottZ on Aug 05, 11, 10:28:29 PM
Yep, I'm generally using the Print Screen key for screenshots, specifically Alt-PrintScreen to capture only the active window (that is, Windows window, not a window inside HB) rather than the whole screen.
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: whyroc on Aug 06, 11, 09:53:45 AM
Looks super Jim, like the normal mapped stone/brick texture on the left side.

-C
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: Jim_Wellington on Aug 07, 11, 04:52:01 AM
Cooper, Scott, -C,

Thanks, The screen shots look a million times better than the digital camera or the flipcam shots. and our lead artist has something like "snagit" at her day job that she'll bring here on Monday.

Sarrene,

My sister used to babysit for an art teacher whose married name was Grant,

& the wild and crazy love of my life mused over Pokemon owning "Oblivia" and burst into maniacal laughter a few minutes later, said, "I've got it! "Absentia! I want to tell people to come visit me in Absentia!"

So far I've used a bunch of buildings that came with the Library as place holders. (One fun thing, I placed one of the huge gate buildings somewhere, then moved it, and it left the ground floor behind. Looks like an instant cave interior to me... (at least temporarily).

Yay, we're getting somewhere...

-----Jim
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: Jim_Wellington on Aug 07, 11, 05:16:12 AM
Screenshot. The blue in the hills was a happy surprise, at first it was like, "Oh Now what???" and then, Huh- okay, the miners will be happy about this... must mean there's something special underground there?

-----Jim
Title: Re: Goals / What we're working on-
Post by: Jim_Wellington on Aug 08, 11, 09:47:07 AM
(Aerendel GDD @ WordPress dot com. wordpress doesn't like capital letters or dashes.)

http://aerendelgdd.wordpress.com/ (http://aerendelgdd.wordpress.com/)

-Added GDD @ WordPress- Copied and pasted 3 pages from clunky old website. - wrote about 7 blog notes, some personal history stuff mixed in with almost relevant game material. ;)

-Didn't get any really technical stuff there yet, but

-I have a whole lotta more stuff that goes there.

---Sleepless in Canada,

~~~~~Jim